It’s a Simple Equation Really

Conventional wisdom has made us believe that Weight Loss is super complicated to achieve.

The following weight loss equation lays out the sensible way to lose weight so think of this as Diet 101: Hunger Pains and How to Satisfy Them. This may be a bit redundant if you’ve been reading the Fitness Buster for a while; if so, consider this a quick cob web cleaner course.

3500 calories = 1 lb of adipose tissue (Fat) or .45 kilograms 1lb of muscle = 50 extra calories burned each day while at rest

Technically, this means that if you start eating 500 fewer calories per day than you normally do now all while adding some form of extra physical activity that burns 500 calories extra per day, or any combination of the two in order to create a 500 calorie deficit, you will burn off a pound of fat (half a kg) per week.

Now, if all of your weight loss comes from just eating less every day (that means no exercise), you’ll start to lose muscle along with fat but if you keep the muscle you have and/or gain a little bit more then you raise your basal metabolic rate (BMR) making your job a lot easier in the long run. So, to make sure you keep the muscle you have while losing fat, it’s good to go with a smart mixture of eating less, eating healthy, and exercising hard!

Confused yet?

Simply put, start exercising at a high intensity while feeding your muscle the nutrition it needs to heal and recover and you will reap the best of both worlds while increasing your results.

Now I know I know, you want to take action right now so what can you do to make sure you can get off on the right foot. Right?

Well I promise I will cover all the details in depth very shortly but if you just started reading this while you had a 5 minute break at work or maybe you’re on your way out the door to meet your wife for a late dinner then let me tell you my quick guidelines.

Pick an activity you absolutely enjoy doing (hiking, running, pushups) and work as hard as you can at it for as long as you can, then when you go eat stick to eating lean meats, vegetables, nuts/seeds, with some fruit, in that order. A general rule of thumb I abide by is if its man made eat it sparingly, that means grains or anything else agriculturally grown.

Again that is in layman’s terms so if you need or want a more in depth answer then keep reading.

A good diet is made up of primarily REAL food and by real food I am assuming you know that when you go to the grocery store the majority of your cart should be filled with foods around the perimeter. Fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, nuts/seeds, and fresh whole or multi grains (watch out though, not too many). Your meals should have a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, and good fats. That means I would prefer you not buy the stuff that comes in a box or out of a laboratory, but instead out of the ground or from nature. The less processed it is, the less that has been added to it, the better off you will be. Again think lean meats, fish, eggs, veggies, fruits, and nuts/seeds.

A bad diet is loaded with bad fats and simple carbohydrates (like simple processed sugar); it’s also severely lacking in actual nutrients because of how many times the manufactures have refined it. If you find it in a vending machine, pulled into a drive-thru, or had it delivered then it is probably not to good for you.

Now lets talk about how much you should eat. It will all depend on your size at the moment and how much you want to lose or gain (obviously this isn’t a bodybuilding, add 20lbs of muscle e-book). A safe and reasonable amount of weight to lose is around 1-2pounds (.5-1kg) per week. If you’re looking for a cost effective and easy way out, take 5 minutes to signup for a free account at dailyburn.comsparkpeople.com or caloriecount.about.comand plug in your current statistics (height, weight, and goal weight). If you are someone who loves a interactive experience then I highly recommend Vitabot which is the only NASA endorsed nutritional program that has a interactive report card that grades you on your daily diet based on your current goals (hands down the coolest nutrition software available).

Or, you can just do some simple math to figure it out…

Before we get to the equations you will need for your calculations we need to figure out a few things first.

All our bodies burn a TON of calories every day just BREATHING! The human body is quite complex (probably the most complex organism on earth), which means our bodies will burn all kinds of fuel just making sure we are working right.

This caloric number is called your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) which I touched on earlier. This number represents the number of calories our body’s burn on our lazy day off when we are relaxing in front of the tube watching reruns while never leaving the couch.

If you like playing mathematician, the equations are just below. If you’re anything like me then visit this link in order to calculate your BMR. For you international folks, make sure you click metric.

This number is derived from your height, weight, and age. As you age your metabolism slows down, hence your BMR will start to decrease. So, as you age, it is tougher to eat the same foods that you are use to and remain the same weight. Doesn’t that make sense?

English BMR Formula

Men: BMR = 66 + (6.23*weight in pounds) + (12.7*height in inches) – (6.8*age in years)

Women: BMR = 655 + (4.35*weight in pounds) + (4.7*height in inches) – (4.7*age in years)

Metric BMR Formula

Men: BMR = 66 + (13.7*weight in kilos) + (5*height in cm) – (6.8*age in years)

Women: BMR = 655 + (9.6*weight in kilos) + (1.8*height in cm) – (4.7*age in years)

If you are reconsidering playing Mr. Mathematician here’s the link again.

Once you’ve calculated your BMR (mine is 1574.85 cal/day), you have a starting point for how many calories you burn while laying on that couch.

To determine roughly how many calories you’ll burn during activities, you multiply you BMR by a certain number based on how active you are. This formula is called the Harris Benedict Equation (go here to calculate), and here are the two equations you will be looking at:

– Light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week: Cal. Calculation=BMR*1.375 – Moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week: Cal. Calculation=BMR*1.55

Take your BMR and multiply it by the appropriate number to determine how many calories you burn on a daily basis while being active.

Once you have the number from the equation, you can see just how many calories you need to eat daily in order to lose weight!

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